The metal bands who slayed in 2017
From Avenged Sevenfold's stadium tours to Arch Enemy's crusade to change the world, 2017 was a big year for metal. Here's our rundown of the bands who brought it this year
Avenged Sevenfold: The Big Hitters
M. Shadows took Avenged into massive arenas and stadium tours
How was it doing that huge UJK arena tour back in January?
“The UK was amazing to me, because the last time we were there, with the exception of Download, we were doing Wembley, and only getting to do three big gigs. This time we got to do 11 and they all sold really well. That gave us a lot of confidence that we were on the right track.”
What was the Metallica tour like? You played stadiums in the US
“To be in a stadium seeing 70,000 people going crazy every night was awe- inspiring. The challenge is to try and win them over – people who didn’t know you, didn’t wanna like you, with you not really being able to fire on all cylinders, out in the middle of the daylight, with a one-hour set. Hopefully we won some people over. I guess we’ll see when we next go out.”
What have people made of the cover songs you’ve been releasing?
“With the Spanish folk song, Malagueña Salerosa, people couldn’t believe what they were hearing, and I think they respected us doing something different. Spanish radio stations picked it up! The cool factor in it was to release these songs and not promote them too much, so it’s hard to say what the real reaction was. Even though you might get a bunch of Mr. Bungle purists who were pissed about us touching their song [_Retrovertigo_], you also get new people who would never have even heard them before. That’s really cool.”
How was it performing at the Chester Bennington tribute show?
“It was really heavy, really emotional. Being part of the camp for the last two weeks and seeing the fans in the build-up to the show, seeing how much Chester meant to people and how much Mike Shinoda means to people… it was overwhelming. It was an honour to be there and do a service to them.”
This year was the 10th anniversary of the self-titled Avenged album. What memories does that bring back?
“I remember the polarising reaction from people off the back of [2005’s] City Of Evil to that record. I also remember self- producing – it was the first time we never had anyone looking over our shoulder. I remember doing the strings for A Little Piece Of Heaven and working with the Oingo Boingo guys, just a lot of creativity. It’s not our best-sounding album, but there were lots of crazy ideas, and I love bands with crazy ideas.”
Getting a first shot at headlining Download is huge, but is getting asked back even more of a big deal?
“Yes! It means we didn’t totally fuck it up! We look forward to giving all the fans a wild nightcap to end day one.”
You blew everyone’s minds with The Stage set on this tour – can we expect a similar vibe at Donington?
“I would say it’s a similar vibe on steroids. You gotta bring everything you got to Download.”
What does it mean to be sharing a bill with Ozzy and Guns N’ Roses?
“It’s surreal. Guns introduced me to rock’n’roll, so to be headlining with them on the world’s biggest stage is mind-boggling. Ozzy has such a deep history in the genre and every band playing owes so much to him. We’re humbled to share a stage with these legends.”